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Feature request: ‘classic vocal beaming’

From: Simon Albrecht
Subject: Feature request: ‘classic vocal beaming’
Date: Sun, 31 May 2015 00:34:23 +0200
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traditionally[1][2] in vocal music beaming corresponds to melismata: if multiple notes are sung to one syllable, they are beamed according to normal rules [3], else no beams are used. Currently this is achieved through \autoBeamOff and manual beams in melismata, but this feels clumsy (apart from being a little tedious) and mixes some presentation aspect into content. I imagine that it wouldn’t be so difficult to do this automatically: Like with lyrics, the beaming procedure might listen to whether a melisma is active. If yes, beam the notes, if no, don’t.
Suggested syntax would be to complement the boolean
\set autoBeaming ##t resp. \autoBeamOn
\set autoBeaming ##f resp. \autoBeamOff
by a third option
\set autoBeaming #classic-vocal resp. \autoBeamVocal. (or #vocal? \autoBeamClassicVocal? I’d be more precise with the former version and more concise with the shortcut)

Best regards, Simon

[1] In more complex music sometimes beaming follows normal rules and melismata are indicated exclusively through slurs and/or placement of syllables. [2] For examples see e.g. the Breitkopf&Härtel Complete Editions of Bach, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Mozart (all on IMSLP), or the Peters editions of Mendelssohn’s choral music. They differ in their use of slurs – that’s where it gets controversial/individual. [3] There are exceptions with longer beams, if they obsolete the slur, but there’s nothing to be said about doing these manually (especially if melismaBusyProperties includes beamMelismaBusy).

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